The Reader’s Holy Grail

If you’re a true reader, I shouldn’t have to say anything more….What’s as coveted as the Holy Grail, as elusive as a fairy, as miraculous as a wishing star, as delightful as finding a ladybug on your arm?

Finding a typo in a published book, of course!!

You don’t agree with me? You’ve obviously never found one.

How about these well-known typos…

1. In one edition of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” the character Percy is called Perry.

2. There was a typo on the cover of a “Dragonflight” collector’s edition.

3. “Say” was used instead of “Says” during one conversation in a second edition of “The Hunger Games.”

4. And, of course, there’s nothing better than finding a typo in a textbook. I remember that I had a hard time getting through my high school History book…until I found a “teh” mistake. That kept me smiling all through the rest of the week.

What kind of emotion do typos spark in you?

Anger, sadness, joy. Maybe even pride.

In my opinion, we should rejoice when we find little typos lie this. They’re like buried treasure!

I admit that I might not have had pure motives for seeking out typos in the past. Like that day in history class…the typo made me feel proud. I, a mere student who was being forced to trudge through the author’s never ending list of historical facts, had spotted something he hadn’t! Clearly, I would never have made that mistake! I didn’t stop to assume that anyone else caught the typo. The honor was mine!

Now that I’m older and have decided to pursue a career in a similar field, I appreciate typos for another reason. It’s like an inside joke. Seeing a published typo helps me remember that authors and editors are human, too, and editing software isn’t foolproof. “To err is human”–that’s so true.

Little mistakes are okay. A lot of typos or obviously glaring mistakes are problematic, but a small typo is nothing to rant about. I’ve tried to remember that during my editorial internship. The author is allowed to make mistakes, and so am I.

I eagerly look forward to the day when I finally earn a position as an editor in a publishing house. I’m sure that my team and I will work hard to make sure that each and every published manuscript is pristine.

There will come a day, however, when a typo isn’t found in time. It’ll probably be something obvious, like skipping a period or writing “teh,” and I’ll kick myself and apologize profusely…but, secretly, I’ll hope that some young book nerd finds the typo. I hope it makes them smile.

What are your thoughts about typos? What are the best typos you’ve found? Have you ever made a bad typo?


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